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Hackney Labour Mayor Jules Pipe has welcomed the announcement to change the planning laws for betting shops.

There are about 65 betting shops in Hackney, with eight on one street alone.  Labour run Hackney has lobbied successive governments over the past seven years to give councils and their residents a greater say on applications for betting shops. In February this year it submitted a proposal to government under the Sustainable Communities Act to give betting shops their own planning class. The submission received cross-party support from boroughs across London and 35 councils outside the capital. An online petition was set up so people could show their support.

Hackney's Labour Mayor Jules Pipe said: "This announcement represents a real victory for Hackney Labour and local government.  Labour Hackney, along with authorities across the country, has long been calling on government to give us the tools to tackle the blight of bookies in our high streets. At last ministers have listened to the overwhelming weight of public and council opinion against the current betting shop free-for-all.

"We will have to examine the detail of these proposals. If they do deliver real change to planning law Hackney Labour will push for any new legislation to be brought in as soon as possible.  Change cannot come soon enough.  Hackney Labour will be vigilant - powerful gambling lobby makes a lot of money out of Hackney and will try its best to water down these proposals.

"For too many years we have been left powerless to stop betting shops taking over our high streets, much to the frustration of our residents.  Gambling firms often cynically target deprived communities, acting like financial vampires feeding off vulnerable people, fuelling addictions and other problems and adding to the difficulties of already hard-pressed families. 

"They also sap the vibrancy and variety from our high streets, and squeeze out potential local enterprises which could use the premises for something positive and constructive up to this."

 

Beat the bookies

Hackney Labour Mayor Jules Pipe has welcomed the announcement to change the planning laws for betting shops. There are about 65 betting shops in Hackney, with eight on one street...

Hackney Labour councillors Karen Alcock (Cabinet member for Housing Policy) and Clayeon McKenzie (Chair of Living in Hackney Scrutiny Committee) attended the event organised by DIGS on 26th April, lending their support to the campaign to improve the private rented sector.

There are estimated to be 32,00 privately renting households in Hackney. There is high demand in the sector, and poor standards can also be a real problem. We work closely with DIGS and other housing organisations such as Shelter to identify practical solutions to try to get a better deal for tenants in the private rented sector.

Hackney Labour’s manifesto for 2014 sets out a number of pledges:

  • to set up a Social Lettings Agency
  • to work towards the licensing of all landlords in the borough
  • to improve the advice and information available to private renters.

We will also campaign for improved powers to regulate the private rented sector. While local authorities are constrained by the powers available (for instance on rents and lengths of tenancies), we are committed to doing more.

The Council has also relaunched the information and advice pages for private renters in Hackney – DIGS contributed to this process and it was also informed by the recent scrutiny review carried out by Living in Hackney.

The Coalition Government has done very little to progress better regulation of the private rented sector - whether at the London level or in Government. One of the first things the Coalition did was to abandon the recommendations of the Rugg Review of the Private Rented Sector set up under last Labour Government.

A better deal for the private rented sector

Hackney Labour councillors Karen Alcock (Cabinet member for Housing Policy) and Clayeon McKenzie (Chair of Living in Hackney Scrutiny Committee) attended the event organised by DIGS on 26th April, lending...

 cycling

Feryal Demirci, Labour’s lead for cycling, has confirmed Hackney Labour’s commitment to cycling and its support for London Cycling Campaign’s (LCC) call for safe Space for Cycling.
 
Labour run Hackney is rated as the best cycling borough in London and has won awards in recognition of this.  Hackney now has record levels of cycling - 15.4% of Hackney residents now cycle to work, that is more than any other borough. Labour run Hackney Council actively promotes cycling as a clean, healthy and efficient way to travel.
 
Labour has pledged in its manifesto to continue to promote and encourage cycling by making changes to roads to improve safety.  

Under the Labour administration, Hackney Council works extensively with local cycling groups such as the London Cycling Campaign to identify where changes needs to be made. At the moment, this is primarily focused on making all one-way streets two-way for cyclists wherever it is safe and feasible to do so. The LCC and other groups are also consulted on the redesign of road junctions to ensure that cycle safety and accessibility is maximised.
 
Labour Hackney also actively promotes cycle safety in a range of other ways. Hackney has, for example, taken the lead in the promotion of cycle safety around lorries, and the LCC has recognised Hackney as being a ‘pioneer council’ in this regard. Hackney led the development of a new HGV driver training module including hands-on cycle training, and we were the first local authority in the country to train all our HGV drivers in this way.
 
Feryal Demirci said:
 
"Labour is proud of the increase in cycling in the borough. We are committed to making Hackney a great place to live with streets that are great for cyclists and pedestrians. We support London Cycling Campaign’s call for safe Space for Cycling, and look forward to delivering the changes proposed.  Labour will continue to work closely with local cycling groups to make it easier and safer to get around the borough.”

Hackney Labour supports Space for Cycling

  Feryal Demirci, Labour’s lead for cycling, has confirmed Hackney Labour’s commitment to cycling and its support for London Cycling Campaign’s (LCC) call for safe Space for Cycling. Labour run Hackney...

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